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June 1, 2005
Animal Liberation Front Raids Future Primate Facility
Quakertown, PA: The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) visited a Pennsylvania plant nursery whose owner is planning to turn it into a breeding facility of non-human primates to be sold to animal experimenters. Owner Michael Hsu admits to tens of thousands of dollars in damages, and has seen his plans withdrawn from Thursday's agenda for the Richland Township Planning Commission as community opposition has grown.
Activists overturned and destroyed about 1,000 peonies, including some rare breeds last Thursday night. They poured paint stripper on two vehicles and spray-painted graffiti on buildings and greenhouses at Peonyland, 475 Church Road, Richland Township. They wrote phrases -- such as ''Fuck with primates, get fucked by us. ALF''; ''the ALF is watching''; and ''this will just be the start'' -- on greenhouses and storage garages at the business owned by the Hsu family. ''I can't say right now whether or not we'll continue,'' Michael Hsu said Friday.
In an anonymous e-mail forwarded to The Morning Call Newspaper, ALF claimed responsibility for the Peonyland vandalism, saying the group visited the business and ''entered several greenhouses and completely trashed them, dumping hundreds and hundreds of bushes and making a mess of the place. We also poisoned over a hundred planted bushes — have fun finding out which ones, Hsu.''
The organization, in the e-mail, warns owner Michael Hsu to ''drop your plans for a primate prison.'' ''If you imprison so much as one monkey to sell to a lab we will make you pay dearly. We are watching you ... ''
The kennel supposedly would house up to 500 monkeys until they are shipped to medical research laboratories, where they would be subjected to painful experiments before being killed, usually years or decades later. "Experimentation on animals has been shown to be outdated and unlikely to result in cures for human diseases", states Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a practicing surgeon and former animal experimenter himself. "The so-called scientists who kill animals in labs are frustrated clinicians who cannot or will not practice medicine that helps people. They are wasting millions of scarce health-care dollars on useless research that will never help one of my patients".
The monkeys would be shipped from a supply company in Beijing and would be tested for tuberculosis, according to the development application, which lists Chao Hsu and Susan Hsu as co-applicants. The incident is under investigation by Richland Township police and a joint terrorism task force of agents from the FBI and other federal agencies.